The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography findings in 28 patients with the clinical diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) were compared with the findings in a control group of 76 individuals without dementia or stroke. A pattern of frontal and temporal atrophy with predominantly frontal white matter changes was found in the FTD patients, and this was significantly different from the radiological findings in the control group. Six of the FTD patients have undergone autopsy. Histopathological evaluation showed a primary cortical degenerative disease (frontal lobe degeneration of non-Alzheimer type) in 3 of them, and primary white matter disorder, mainly frontal, of basically ischemic type (selective incomplete white matter infarction) in 3 of them. MRI could be a helpful tool to support the clinical diagnosis FTD, especially in young patients. MRI may also be helpful for the differentiation of a primary neurodegenerative from a mainly ischemic-vascular type of dementia.

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